THE BOSTON EFFECT AND THE AGE OF OBAMA
Some observers have claimed that terror won the day in Boston because it managed to shut down an entire modern city of the United States. This is a misreading of the entire episode from beginning to end, and a misreading of the age and legacy of President Barack Obama. Let me digress from Boston to what I am calling the Age of Obama and then return to the Boston terror episode.
Although President Obama has proven to be weak in confronting the worst corruptions of the war on terror, such as Guantanamo, and a slew of illiberal laws in place, the fact is that from the beginning of his aspiration to the presidency he made it clear that war reduction was his priority, and he has followed through on that in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The most important shift he has made, however, from the Age of Bush is to replace …
For Rising China, Taoist And Confucianist Wisdom Should Inspire Positive Global Leadership
President Obama has signaled in recent days that he will be confronting China much more on its global policies. But China is on the rise as the premier economic global power, even as America is on the decline, and it remains to be seen what kind of confrontation could be effective. Will China’s rise actually be good news for the world? This will depend on how China rises, and it will be wise to challenge China on its humanitarian impact every bit as much as on its economic impact globally. Let’s look at one example.
Burma has one of the worst governments in the world, a place where citizens live in terror. The military junta seized power when Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won 392 of the 492 seats in Parliament. It does not fully control the Hill Country on the west and east sides of the country, inhabited by …
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Ravaging Our Young War Vets
He was racing in a Humvee with four other soldiers, having arrived there just days before, 19 years old. The day he got there his best friend was shot in the head, boom, gone in an instant. Now he was racing along this road when a missile directly hit the cab of the vehicle. One guy’s legs were gone and another was killed right away, and the missile flew right by his head, just missing him. He seemed uninjured, but he was, and now he is back in Boston.
It was a sunny August afternoon in Boston as I leaped into a cab. I had just finished attending a conference of great religious educators at Boston University, and I was feeling very good about my presentation. I thought it was a home run because I really connected with the message and the people.
The 50-something Irish cab driver, whose presence …
Between Exhaustion and Engagement: The Radical Choices of the Long American War in Afghanistan
The recent news of a rogue group of American military personnel murdering Afghans for sport is a sign of America’s war fatigue. The more the war drags on without attainable goals the worse the “quality control” of American troops. American troops are exhausted and over-stretched, and we must ask, what is there to be done?
The clear answer is deep engagement with the people of Afghanistan, engagement that wins the war through winning the people from the insurgents, and even winning over many of the insurgents. Here is how:
Vastly Expand CERP Funds
CERP stands for Commanders’ Emergency Response Program. These funds are being used by forward thinking commanders to reconstruct mosques and other basic construction needs. General Petreaus should significantly increase the quantity of these funds and the flexibility of their usage, particularly supporting commanders and chaplains in particular regions that have engaged the community, tribal and religious leaders …
A role for the US in Afghan national reconciliation? by Shukria Dellawar
This is a wonderful article, very important timing. Ria is absolutely right on, except I suspect strongly that Petreaus is much more of an ally than she thinks. But there are other problems with the American military and political system that are preventing the rational approach that she is recommending. The ideology of killing, hard conquest, is in the way, and it still afflicts enough people at various levels of authority that moving quickly now is hard. But that is where progressives need to step up and lobby hard, with money, to do the right thing.
A role for the US in Afghan national reconciliation? by Shukria Dellawar – Common Ground News Service.
A role for the US in Afghan national reconciliation?
05 August 2010
Washington, DC – In June, at the latest loya jirga (a grand assembly comprised of tribal leaders) meeting in Kabul, 1,600
Defense officials back US bid to send envoy to Syria
I am trying to figure out what kind of United States has developed where the toughest Israelis in the world, the top Israeli military brass, want a U.S. ambassador in Syria, and other gestures, whereas the true impediment to that are right wing Republican Senators supported by a militant wing of the American public goaded on by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and of course Charles Krauthamer. Where do these Americans get the arrogance to be even more violent in their politics than the Israeli military? I think it is legitimate to take sides within the Israeli debate, but I do not understand being to the right of the right of the Israeli military. Of course, there is no logic to politics, there is only the logic of vote grabbing, and one gets votes in America today by demonizing any and all foreigners you can get your hands on, …
An appalling army experience – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News
Why is everyone so angry and appalled at this 21 year old Israeli woman? I think she is a perfect creation of a system. The fact that she sees nothing wrong with the photographs of her smiling and proud with blindfolded humiliated Palestinian prisoners is absolute proof that it is not her but the system that has prepared her as a teenager to become an occupier, not a member of an elite army, but an occupier of civilians who must be humiliated because that is the essence of occupation. she merely said on Facebook what so many say to each other in the field now. How can we blame her for being simply an expression of a system that must corrupt her mind, not to mention punish whole populations? She is the reason that most of the world has come to hate Israel, not her personally but the system, the …
A NEW APPROACH TO NONVIOLENT PREVENTION OF IRAN’S NUCLEAR BOMB
What is missing from the endless debate about Iran, about sanctions, and about military action, is the role of global consensus, and the real facts of what it would take to find any nonviolent way for the global community to prevent the leaders of Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Consistently the United States argues for sanctions and Russia and China veto such sanctions. What is less stated is that Iran is a critical economic partner of Russia, whereas the United States has its sphere of influence as Saudi Arabia. Well, it seems simple to me. If the United States really wants the world to isolate Iran in terms of fossil fuel exports (the only truly effective boycott) then resource sharing and resource access must be completely re-negotiated between the great powers and the oil producing nations. How else can there be global consensus? And if there cannot be, and …
U.S. estimates Iran unable to produce nuke before 2013
The systematic pattern is of intelligence reports that keep pushing back the date at which Iran is said to be able to produce a nuclear weapon. My concern is how much political manipulation is going on of the public, and has been for many years.
Also, there seems to be no straightforward approach at this moment in time to Iran. My own instinct is that the United States should engage in every way possible the people of Iran while keeping a distance from a regime that is discredited at this time among its own people. It is vital that the United States step up its relationship with any and all of Iran’s allies in order to find any way possible to pressure Iran to come to the negotiating table.
U.S. estimates Iran unable to produce nuke before 2013
A newly disclosed congressional document shows that U.S. State Department